• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Ernst Caramelle

Ernst Caramelle is a conceptual artist who integrates various perspectives on the theoretical, visual, linguistic and technical-material levels in order to construct new dynamic relationships between things, ideas, spaces and images. One of Caramelle’s works, which subtly infiltrates Vienna’s public space, provides programmatic and methodic clues to his artistic thinking: a 19th-century shop entrance bears a sign with the words “Uhren – Adolf Roman” [Clocks – Adolf Roman], done in simple, restrained lettering. Since 1988, this sign has been joined by another, formally identical one directly next to it, virtually a twin, on which is written: “Ideen – Ernst Caramelle” [Ideas – Ernst Caramelle]. Caramelle’s work with art, about art, and as art is based on precise ideas and concepts for which formalization he has developed an open system that enables him to examine various contexts, shifting them, often ironically questioning them, and ultimately creating new relational networks. For him, the object is to work productively with questions, not for the purpose of producing seemingly right answers, but rather in order to keep the field of art open as a cognitive process in which the position of the artist, like that of the observer, is just as often at stake as is the idea of the artwork and of art itself.

For Caramelle, since his early beginnings, this has included the integration of photography and video into performative acts and situative settings for the purpose of methodically examining the ideas of reality, time and space, while simultaneously reflecting on the ways in which these media themselves function. In doing so, he positions a video monitor in front of an object, such as a person, a tree or a radiator, so that the monitor covers a certain area of the object. The monitor’s screen, however, produces an image of precisely this covered area, allowing the pictured object to appear complete after all. Video technology is thus employed not in order to reproduce an action or a movement, but rather to simulate a still image and thus shift and interweave various visual elements; it is a medium-specific investigation, which Caramelle characterizes as “completions and disassociations of interrupted reality.”

Further media central to Caramelle’s conceptual thought and work are his drawings, sketches, written pages and printed works. He published around a hundred of his drawings done between 1972 and 1979 under the title "Blätter" [Pages]; in these, he condensed his conceptual ideas into the smallest-possible format with intellectual clarity and poetic wit.


1952, Hall in Tirol / AT

Caramelle studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Austria), from 1970 to 1976. He lectured at the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) from 1981 to 1983 and at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna from 1986 to 1990. Since 1994 Caramelle is professor at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe (Germany).

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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  • Photo: Adam Sakovy